When talking about classic cakes you must not forget to mention the lemon drizzle cake. Classy, sophisticated and packed full of tangy lemon flavour, this cake is sure to make frequent (although possibly short lived) appearances in your house. It freezes magnificently and can be defrosted whilst retaining all of its flavour.
The recipe I present below is far more like a Madeira cake than a Victoria sponge; it has the classic crack along the top and a denser texture which I have found holds up better under the deluge of syrup poured on top. Whilst you want the cake moist, you do not want it soggy and although you could use a standard Victoria sponge recipe for the cake mix (check out how to do that here, just replace the vanilla with some lemon zest), the cake can get a little mushy if there isn’t enough of it to evenly soak up the drizzle. An added benefit of the syrup is that if the edges of the cake dry out a little in the oven, they will absorb more liquid and end up just as soft as the rest of it.
Drizzle cakes are quite “in” at the moment. An appearance on the Great British Bake Off in the signature challenge a several years ago created a significant spike in their popularity as it showed that many variations are possible. I have seen bright purple blueberry drizzle cakes, vivid pink raspberry drizzles and even made a gin and tonic flavoured one. Citrus fruits are the safest way to go as the sharpness of the juice contrasts with the sweetness of the syrup giving a balanced flavour but as long as you make sure your drizzle is suitably tart, you should be fine.
Everyone says that their recipe is the best; theirs gives the most interesting and moistest results however yet again, the recipe I use is very similar to the one my mum uses when she bakes lemon drizzle cake and I have never found one that can compare. There is no sugar crust on the top and the syrup gets all the way through the entire cake thanks to the holes poked in before the drizzling commences – which must be done while the cake is hot! This results in a very even spread of syrup with a little more around the edges (but who is going to complain about cake with extra flavour?) Although they are traditionally baked in loaf tins, I like to make mine in a Bundt tin as it gives a beautiful shape to the cake and makes it particularly easy to portion out. It also allows me to turn the cake out onto a plate and give it a thick lemon glaze which does not sink in and gives the cake an appealing finish.
I like to eat my cake with a nice cup of tea during a work break or after a good meal. Let me know when you like to eat your cake be that as a treat or just whenever you possibly can – which is totally understandable and relatable.
Enjoy the recipe.
Lemon Drizzle Cake
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
8 oz. (225g) butter
8 oz. (225g) sugar
12 oz. (337g) self-raising flour (or plain flour with 3 tsp baking powder)
60 ml milk
Zest of 3 lemons
For the drizzle:
Juice of 3 lemons
4 oz. (112g) icing sugar
2 tbsp. Water
Preheat the oven to gas mark 4.
Grease the Bundt tin and line with flour – or use two loaf tins.
Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the lemon zest and beat again to incorporate.
Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour after each to prevent the mix from curdling.
Add the rest of flour and beat until combined.
Pour the mix into the tin(s) and spread out to an even layer. Give the tin a few bashes on the base by lightly dropping it onto a countertop to remove any air bubbles.
Bake for 45 minutes. If the top starts to brown too much, cover it with foil to prevent it from burning.
Remove the cake(s) from the oven and leave in the tins to start to cool.
Once the cakes have been removed from the oven, heat the drizzle ingredients until a clear liquid is formed.
Use a skewer to make lots of small holes all over the cake(s) ensuring that the holes go all the way to the base.
Slowly spoon the hot syrup over the top of the cake and let it be absorbed. If you are using a silicone mould, you can pull it away from the edges of the cake to let the syrup get all the way to the base.
Leave the cake(s) in the tins to cool.
Remove the cake(s) from the tin(s) and serve.
If you fancy, you can always garnish the cake with candied peel or a thick lemon glace icing (made from sifted icing sugar and a small amount of lemon juice).
This cake goes amazingly well with all sorts of tea and is super moreish. The moist crumb is quite dense but doesn’t go soggy resulting a cake that is both flavourful and a wonderful texture.
For another treat that goes fantastically well with a cup of tea, check out how to make my fluffy buttermilk scones or if you are looking for something a little more savoury, why not make yourself a hearty chicken pie?
Have a good one and I’ll be back next week with another recipe for a delicious soup – though this one is a little bit more summery!